Scientific Name: Canis lupus
Range and Habitat: North America
Size: Up to 7 feet long and 30 inches tall at the shoulder; weighs 50 to 150
pounds, occasionally larger
Life Span: 8 to 16 years; up to 20 years in captivity
Gestation: Approximately 60 days; litters are 5 to 14 young
Wild Diet: Rodents, squirrels, rabbits and larger animals such as deer, elk and
Zoo Diet: Carnivore meat diet, bones, mackerel
The gray wolf is also called a timber wolf.
At one time the Gray Wolf was the most widespread mammal, apart
from man, outside the tropics. Presently less than 3,000 wild Gray
Wolves live in the United States.
Wolves usually live in packs within a specific territory. They usually
hunt in packs of up to 24 wolves. To find enough food, their territories
range in size from 50 square miles to more than 1,000 square miles,
depending primarily on prey density. They can sustain speeds over 20
miles per hour for hours.
Wolf pups are cared for by the entire pack. They depend on their
mother’s milk for the first month, then are gradually weaned and fed
regurgitated meat brought by other pack members. By 7-8 months of
age, the pups begin traveling with the adults. Often, after 1-2 years of
age, a young wolf will leave to find a mate and form its own pack.
Wolves are noted for their long “mournful” howl, which can be heard up
to six miles away. When a pack howls, all members usually join the